Autobiographic Memoirs - Vol. 1


One who is entering on the eightieth year of life, but retains a clear memory of the events and habits in four reigns during a momentous epoch in English history, is prone to regard himself almost as among the ancestors of the young to- day, to fancy that they may care to hear what he remembers of the past, what he anticipates as the issue of the vast changes he has witnessed in life and in thought.

The record even of a perfectly simple life, of one sufficiently in touch with the men and the things of the time to note their effect and to understand their meaning, may be useful as what is called a human document, if it be frankly open and unaffectedly told.

It happens that I have known some men of mark in the Victorian age, and have been stirred by the great revolution in ideas which set in after the passing away of the Fourth George, just eighty years ago. How did ordinary people live when there were no railways, no telegraphs, no penny postage nor cheap press--in days of dear bread, of wooden sailing-ships and muzzle-loading guns? What was the Empire when it needed three weeks' sail to reach Halifax and three months' sail to reach Calcutta? What were politics in the era of Wellington and Peel, when Parliament, Universities, and Corporations were hedged in . . .

Additional information

  • 1
Publisher: Place of publication:
  • London
Publication year:
  • 1911


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